Bubblegum – Overall Review

Year: 2015
Korean Channel: tvN
Episodes: 16

Summary
The story revolves around two childhood friends who have feelings for each other but couldn’t be together because of one’s mother. Also where people with different problems get together and become happier.

Characters
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They are the reason why I decided to give Bubblegum a go, since I was afraid it might be similar to The Time I Loved You in terms of childhood-friends-turned-lovers thing. They are so adorable together, like kids!
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Well, hello handsome. 😛 Funny how this show is the first time I watched Lee Dong Wook as I have only seen him briefly on My Girl (watched some episodes here and there) and Hotel King (which I dropped). He is such a dork in Bubblegum, for which he played eastern medicine doctor Park Ri-hwan.
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Jung Ryeo Won is such a precious girl (Love her smile!) and I have seen her previously in King Of Dramas and briefly in Medical Top Team (which I dropped). She played a radio producer Kim Haeng-ah whose parents passed away when she was younger. Since then, she had been living with Ri-hwan.
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I actually liked the second leads in this show, they are very different from the usual second leads in other dramas. I thought at least one of them would be hateful. But, no. I can’t hate Kang Suk-joon (played by Lee Jong Hyuk). In fact, there is nothing to hate him for, except that he had been neglecting Haeng-ah when they were in relationship. I just pitied him for not paying attention when all he did was work. Loved his little bromance with Jo Dong-il (played by Park Won Sang).
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I can’t even hate Hong Yi-seul as well (played by Park Hee Von) for liking Ri-hwan and wanting Haeng-ah to disappear from his life when she learnt that Ri-hwan’s mother didn’t want Haeng-ah to be with her son and was diagnosed with Alzheimer. I also kind of pitied and understand her. At least, she didn’t go to extreme of using her chaebol power to take things away from Haeng-ah, be it house or anything. I love how she confided in her brother played by Kim Sa Kwon) who would do anything for his little sister. I can’t even hate their mother (played by Park Joon Geum, who used to played evil mother in past dramas) for always scolding her daughter for being a fashion disaster. In fact, I could see the motherly love. Maybe it’s just me.

The mother and their relationship
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Ri-hwan’s mother, Park Sun-young (played by Bae Jong Ok), disapproved of her son and Haeng-ah’s relationship due to her past with Haeng-ah’s father. However, no matter what, Sun-young still cared for Haeng-ah like a daughter. It was sad and frustrating how Ri-hwan decided to break up with Haeng-ah for the sake of his mother’s recovery and also because of the possibility of genetic disease passed down to him.
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I am glad that Haeng-ah didn’t give up chasing after him and he later realised that he loves her a lot. And it was really relieved that Ri-hwan’s health result turned out to be fine. It feels like Sun-young’s memory loss was the one bringing the kids together and through that, both of them learnt how to get through hard times together and inseparably. Now, that’s what the title Bubblegum about.

That aside, from being childhood friends to lovers, I liked how their relationship as couple was about the same as before as good friends (even when they were younger). They were still being themselves around each other, except there’s special kind of love between them, with the shyness and all. So cute, those two.

Side couples
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Besides the main couple, I liked especially how Ri-hwan’s buddy, Kwon Ji-hoon (played by Lee Seung Joon, glad to see him onscreen again!), matured and changed throughout the series as he came to realise how much he loved Haeng-ah’s friend, Noh Tae-hee (played by Kim Ri Na) after losing her.
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It was pretty hilarious how Tae-hee liked the older man, Dong-il (Haeng-ah’s manager and Suk-joon’s friend) but I am glad that she was kind of cool with him rejecting her and decided to give Ji-hoon another chance after so long.

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Speaking of Ji-hoon, I loved his bromance with Ri-hwan and how they always helped each other when it comes to their girls. Heh.

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Now, this is an odd pairing between maknae writer Ye Joon-soo (played by Ahn Woo Yeon) and DJ Oh Se-young (played by Kim Jung Nan, lol she played the evil mother in Who Are You: School 2015) but hey, number doesn’t matter when it comes to love! This is what Bubblegum actually pointing out – different kind of love from everywhere.

Overall thoughts
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Despite the tears, confusions and heartbreaks, there is always happiness in it and this was what Bubblegum gave us. It’s heart-warming to see how much the people around the mother Sun-young care for her. It shows how Sun-young has brought everyone and bonded them together.

“To lose something and to forget something, there’s no way to be sad about those things. If the bubble pops, then you can just blow another one. The small happiness that you feel when chewing bubblegum, it’s not any different from any other kind of happiness.”

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I like the quote saying at the end of the show. It tells the importance of happiness and family. I love the metaphor in the quote. You can always create happiness even where you are upset. There is always someone beside you, be it your family, friends girlfriend/boyfriend or co-workers.

Now, it’s time to say goodbye to Bubblegum. Though not one of my favourites, it certainly has given warmness through the family love and happiness, like feeling warmness from a campfire during cold autumn/winter.
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